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Cedars-Sinai Highlights From the Dodgers' 2018 Regular Season

No matter where the Los Angeles Dodgers end up in the rankings at the end of this baseball season, the team is always No. 1 with the patients and staff at Cedars-Sinai, the official medical center of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 2018 regular season gave Cedars-Sinai several home-run visits by Dodgers players. Players, including second baseman Brian Dozier, infielder/outfielder Chris Taylor and catcher Kyle Farmer, all visited patients in the Maxine Dunitz Children’s Health Center as well as the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. The players posed for pictures, and gave patients and visitors plenty of Dodgers stickers, bobble heads and autographed baseball caps. Dodger legends Dennis Powell and Bill Ashley visited pediatric patients to give them special hospital gowns decorated with the team logo.

Tytan Jones, a cancer patient, was spending his 12th birthday in the hospital when Taylor and Farmer visited in May. The players made it a special day for him by singing Happy Birthday. “I was surprised, I wasn’t expecting that,” said Jones. “If I play baseball again, I want people like them to be my coaches.”

Chris Taylor said coming to the hospital puts everything in perspective. “Coming here, meeting these kids, there is so much more to life than just baseball.”

Cedars-Sinai patients also had a chance to interact with players on the field at Dodgers stadium.

In July, nine-year-old cancer patient Alika Mallett had a dream come true when she threw out the honorary first-pitch at the Stadium. Alika has been battling brain cancer for most of her life and has undergone several surgeries and rounds of cancer treatments. Her parents say that despite it all, Alika keeps on smiling. She was joined at the stadium by her parents and three siblings.

At the stadium, the Dodgers celebrated Little Dodger Fan Day, and Cedars-Sinai distributed bandages -- called Fandages because they were decorated with the Dodgers' logo -- to the first 5,000 children to enter the stadium.

For Mother’s Day, the Dodgers honored mom Kathryn Garcia Castro with an honorary first-pitch. Garcia Castro delivered her twins at Cedars-Sinai. The babies were born three months early and were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for nearly 100 days. Today the children are thriving three-year-olds and mom is a volunteer with the Cedars-Sinai Parent-Family Care Centered Council.

Other activities included LGBT night at Dodger stadium where Cedars-Sinai’s Maurice Garcia, MD, director of Cedars-Sinai’s Transgender Surgery and Health Program, received pre-game recognition; Jewish Community Day at the stadium which acknowledged Cedars-Sinai Rabbi Jason Weiner; and Childhood Cancer Awareness Night which honored cancer survivors, including Cedars-Sinai patient Aaron Williams.